April Best 5

By: Mary MacIIvain, CPSM

We've scoured the web so that you don't have to - check out the marketing articles April had to offer:

1. Melinda Gates: 3 Actionable Ways We Can Work to Close the Wage Gap

2. What Proposal Game Are You Playing?

3. Can Your PMs Answer These Questions?

4. Scaling Smart Cities Through Consistent Performance Measurement

5. The Litmus Test for Decision Making


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Best 5

By: Mary MacIIvain, CPSM

We've scoured the web so that you don't have to - check out the marketing articles March had to offer:

1. The Unlikely Story of One of General Motors's First Female Designers

2. 5 Reasons Why You Need a BD Plan -Today!

 3. Pay it forward in your community through Green Apple Day of Service

4. Want to Take Better Notes? Ditch the Laptop for a Pen and Paper, Says Science

5. The In and Outs of Managing a Multiple Office Firm


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Event Recap: AEC Award Submissions

SMPS Connecticut presented a panel discussion on AEC Industry Award Submissions moderated by Cathy DeFrances, CPSM, Associate / Director of Business Development  |  Fuss & O'Neill EnviroScience, LLC. Speakers at the Wednesday March 14 afternoon event in Unionville included:

  • Theresa M. Casey, FSMPS, CPSM, President/CEO, On Target Marketing & Communications LLC
  • Kevin Herrick, AIA, Principal, The S/L/A/M Collaborative
  • Susan Labas, CPSM, Senior Associate and Director of Marketing, van Zelm Engineers


The panel discussed a number of relevant topics, sharing their insight and knowledge with attendees. There was a good turnout and the food was excellent!

First steps in submitting for an award:

  • Look at the criteria and select the project that best suits the competition.
  • Start early, up to a year in advance, and track project metrics.
  • Select awards programs and publications that will support your target markets.
  • Determine what information you need to gather from the project.
  • To identify awards programs, look at what your competitors are doing and ask your clients and consultants.


Getting the whole team on board:

  • Be creative! Strategize, give it a theme, and include photography.
  • Develop a story. Talk to as many people as you can who are involved with the project.
  • Step back, and tell the whole story. The judge is not going to be familiar with your project.


Review of winning project submissions:

  • Don’t underestimate the small projects. Those win more than their share of awards.
  • Supplemental information can make a big difference, such as letters of recommendation.
  • Tell the story with photos, layout, and supporting materials.
  • Follow the criteria and structure of the awards.


Additional tips:

  • Ask for a debrief when you don’t win. Lessons learned.
  • Use large, professional photos and label them.
  • The level of quality and care in submissions is rising each year.
  • Submit a blend of visuals and text and detail the images to tell the story.
  • Entries are judged on the submittal criteria over the design of the piece.
  • Follow the word and page count criteria, fitting extra information within the limits.
  • Nobody counts the photo captions. These could be used as extra words.
  • Take advantage of available award FAQs and webinars.



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Best 5

Best 5 logo

We've scoured the web so that you don't have to - check out the marketing articles February had to offer:

1. 5 Podcasts That Marketers Should Pay Attention To

2. February Class of 2017: LEED-certified schools make an impact

3. Cooper Hewitt Symposium Covers the Why and How of Designing More Accessible Spaces

4. New CLF Report Addresses Climate Liability Risks

5. The Dos and Don’ts of LinkedIn Etiquette


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Best Five

We've scoured the web so that you don't have to - check out the marketing articles January had to offer:

1. 10 Good Business Practices in Any Market

2. 14 Marketing Resolutions A/E/C Firms Should Make in 2018

3. Green Building for Everyone on Education

4. How Drones Can Be Used in Architecture

5. How IKEA Continues to Push the Boundaries of Design


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Event Recap: Fireside Chat with Carolyn Bligh

At our latest Fireside Chat program, members of SMPS Connecticut spent the afternoon with Carolyn Bligh and gained insight on her career and the opportunities that have helped her to achieve success.

Carolyn is a past president of SMPS CT whose desire for living her life with the purpose to inspire others has guided her in making career and personal decisions over her 25+ year career in the A/E/C industry. Carolyn shared influences and defining moments that shaped her career journey - including following her mother's advice and applying for her first job as a graphic designer at Russell Gibson von Dohlen. She has transcended from Director of Graphic Design for one of the largest A/E/C firms in the Northeast, to owning her own consulting business for 24 years, and is currently the Director of Facilities Design for ESPN, a global leader in sports entertainment and events.

Carolyn shared some invaluable advice with our members:

  • It's all about being surrounded by people who believe in you, people you trust - it's all about surrounding yourself with people who will help you rise to the next level.
  • No one’s going to remember how much time you spent on a project, they’re going to remember how much they like it.
  • No excuses, it shows weakness.
  • Believe in yourself and your ability. You have to have strong principles and beliefs - always stick up for your beliefs and never let anyone compromise them.
  • Treat the person standing in front of you as the most important person at that time.
  • Push back, challenge. Know you're worth it, be confident in yourself.

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Event Recap: Event Management and Birthday Bash Program

There was an atmosphere of celebration at our November 15th program - SMPS Connecticut members and guests not only learned the latest event management tips and tricks but also celebrated SMPS Connecticut’s 35th birthday. The event took place at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut. Real Art Ways is an alternative multidisciplinary arts organization that presents and supports contemporary artists. The venue provided the perfect space for our attendees and panelists to mingle and discuss the ins-and-outs of event management.

SMPS Connecticut President, Sharon Pomeroy, kicked-off the event sharing the chapter’s history, including its origins as the Southern New England chapter, and its journey to becoming the SMPS Connecticut chapter we know today.  Sharon took the time to recognize the contributions of past presidents to our chapter's success. Past presidents in attendance included (left to right) Theresa Casey, Maria Loitz, Jim Bancroft, Cathy DeFrances, and Geryl Rose. 

Our panel included three event management experts: Amanda Mueller, Senior Vice President, Cashman + Katz Integrated Communications; Danielle Casey, Director of Corporate Sales & Catering, Present Company; and Lindsey Burke, Marketing Specialist, SystemOne. The panelists shared horror stories of missing equipment and late vendors. The panelists agreed that it's important to always have a plan b - whether that's an emergency kit you always keep in your car or an extra tradeshow banner you keep in your suitcase. Danielle Casey stressed the importance of keeping a checklist and assigning responsibilities to keep your team focused and on track. Our attendees questioned the value of new technologies and electronic media. Lindsey Burke shared her experience that the latest technologies, such as SnapChat filters, don't always provide the best return on investment and that sometimes going back to the basics is the best way to go.

After the panel, the birthday celebrations began. Everyone was treated to birthday cupcakes and t-shirts as our guests mingled and explored the venue.  As part of our celebrations we raffled off a free annual membership - this awesome prize went to Cathie Reese of Geomatrix Productions, Inc. - congratulations Cathie!



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It's Our 35th Birthday!

Today is SMPS CT’s 35th birthday - on this day in 1982, SMPS CT was officially chartered as the 22nd chapter of SMPS. As part of this monumental occasion, we are starting a blog to share with you all the incredible things our chapter and its members are up to. It’s been a journey filled with achievement and accomplishment for our Connecticut chapter over the past three and a half decades – including recently graduating to a Large Chapter and winning the SMPS Membership Derby at the 2017 Regional Conference. We have grown into an industry-recognized organization known for its top-notch programing and professional development. More importantly, we have become a source of knowledge and career advancement for our members.

Check out the video below to learn more about our recent accomplishments! There’s a lot to celebrate!

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